A new house bill in the state of Missouri is making additional changes to the state’s name, image and likeness (NIL) policy that may have immense ramifications in the immediate future.
Last Wednesday, House Bill 417 was passed, awaiting final approval from Gov. Mike Parson (R). If approved, the legislation will allow coaches and school officials to attend NIL-related meetings between athletes and third-parties.
Additionally, and most importantly, the bill’s passing would mean major changes in the state of Missouri in regards to NCAA involvement, disallowing both the NCAA and conferences from investigating or punishing institutions for their NIL activity.
At the high school level, the bill will allow in-state athletes to take part in NIL deals, but only after they sign with an in-state college or university.
“What we’re doing this year is really modernizing the program and it really puts us to the top as far as NIL legislation across the country,” Missouri House Rep. Kurtis Gregory said to KMBC9 News.
NIL attorney Mit Winter of Kennyhertz Perry LLC in Kansas City told KMBC, “Missouri obviously has a lot of talented high school athletes that in the past have gone to other schools so Missouri would obviously like to do what they can to keep those athletes in the state of Missouri.”
In the class of 2024, the state of Missouri boasts three top-100 recruits in football and basketball, respectively, include Williams Nwaneri, the No. 3 national football recruit and the best defensive lineman in the nation, as well as Ja’Kobe Walter, the eighth-ranked hooper and top shooting guard in the class.
But while Missouri has top-tier athletic talent, none of these athletes are staying close to home. In fact, no athlete from the state ranked in the top-300 nationally in football or basketball is committed to a Missouri college or university.
With the University of Missouri ranking as the top athletic school in the state, the bill can definitely be convenient for retaining local athletes as Winter mentioned, especially when competing in the SEC, which is only going to get stronger once Oklahoma and Texas join the fold in 2024.
If the bill is signed into law by Parson, the change may be monumental for state schools, but can also present a mess for the NCAA and Charlie Baker in an attempt to control NIL.
The bill is set to be reviewed by Gov. Parson in the coming weeks.